Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Marital Conversation.......

Woman and I went to the grocery store yesterday to provision with staples for the remainder of the week here at the beach.  As we entered the market, she told me to be sure to pick up anything I might like for myself as we shopped.

As I pushed the shopping cart, following her, I would occasionally mention a product that I might enjoy.  The rolling conversation went like this:

Me:  Hey!---those avocadoes look good!  I could make us some guacamole....

Cindy:  Honey, we'd have to buy ten of them to get that good price.  We can't eat that much in a week.


How about a chocolate candy bar?  That'd be good after dinner.

Honey, you know you'd regret it if you ate that.


Can we get some of those pre-cooked sausage patties?  They're so much easier to prepare...

I really prefer the kind I make myself.  By the time you heat those up for 7 or 8 minutes, you really don't save much time.  Plus, they cost more...


How about these raw shrimp?  They look pretty good, and this would save us a trip to the seafood market...

I think we'll just go to the seafood market.  I think the shrimp are fresher at the seafood market.


Hey!---I found some of that Old Bay seasoning you've been looking for!  (at this point I thought I was gonna be her hero because she had been saying how hard it was to find this product)

She looked at the package and said:

No---this is the low sodium kind.  I really need the normal kind.


Here are the batteries you said you need  (again---gonna be her hero)

Oh, honey---those are not the rechargeable kind I need.


As we were approaching the check-out line, she said:

Are you sure you didn't see anything you want?  Anything at all?

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Conversation All Married People Understand

Yesterday the Cinderoo and I motored to Myrtle Beach.  It is a leisurely 8 hour drive from our home in Knoxville.  It was a clear and cool morning as we headed southeast on the interstate through the Smoky Mountains north of Asheville, NC.

As the temperature dropped while driving through the mountains, it caused a glare as the sunlight hit the windshield.  Apparently, there was a film on the inside surface of the windshield that really created a glare when the sunlight hit the cold surface.  This made it difficult to see!

The Conversation:

Me:  I cleaned the windshield!  I don't understand this glare!

Her:  What did you clean it with?

Rainex Cleaner

Well, you cleaned the outside of the windshield---not the inside where the film is

I didn't think I had to clean the inside

It is the inside that is dirty

But it looked clean when I was cleaning the outside

You should have cleaned the inside

I know that now, but at the time it looked clean

You can't always tell just by looking

OK, next time I'll clean the inside too

When you told me you were going to clean the windshield, I thought you knew to clean the inside

Well, I didn't.  Can we drop this and move on to another topic?

Next time you think the windshield needs cleaning, let me know and I will clean it.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gotta Know Knoxville!

Good morning, my friends!  Here is a look at my diary entry from yesterday, a most delightful day in our lives:
September 19, 2012   Wednesday
Up at 5ish. 

No walking or gym for us---gotta get ready to go to the "Gotta Know Knoxville" tour Sponsored by the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation.  Yippee!

We arrived at the Crowne Center parking garage at 11:30.  That is where we were supposed to park.  But---the garage was full.  SH*T!.  Had to call the Tourism office for directions.  They directed us to the Market Square Garage near Market Square.  We found it easily---off of Wall Street. 

The Knoxville Visitor Center Downtown
The weather was clear and an incredible 63 degrees at noon.  The most beautiful day imaginable.

WDVX Radio Presents Free Live Performances Daily at the Knoxville Visitor Center

Got to the Tourism office on Gay Street at 11:45 and was stunned that this was the place that radio station WDVX broadcasts its live "Blue Plate Special" music every day at noon.  Heck, I listen to the "Blue Plate Special" almost every day and love it.  Staff folks at the Tourism center were very nice and professional. 

Our Group.  That's Me on Far Left.  Cindy is Third From Left.
We were escorted up to the 2nd floor to a conference room.  Very nice.  There was an oval shaped table that seated our group, which was exclusively from Church St UMC.  There were 18 in our group.  Maybe five men and the rest women.  Generally an older crowd.  We were fed sandwiches from Jason's Deli with the usual pickles and chips with tea.  It was totally great.

Laney Shorter, Director of Visitor Services.  What a Fireball!
Then we got very professional and enthusiastic presentations from the staff about the Tourism and Sports operations; and then Ms Laney Shorter, Director of Visitor Services, took over.  She is a ball of fire and personality and perfect for the job.  She described Knoxville's attributes and then led our group on a two hour walking tour of Gay Street and Market Square.  Since I'm a relative newcomer to the area, I learned more than anyone.  I really got a lot out of it.  We went to the Mast General Store, a most unique establishment.  Then to the Art market, a classy co-op gallery,  then to the Tennessee Theater (the state theater of Tennessee) and the Riviera Theatre; then to the Market Square area---a huge plaza featuring trendy restaurants and shops. 

Gay Street, Downtown Knoxville

Market Square, Downtown Knoxville
We then boarded a bus and went to World's Fair Park, home of the 1982 World's Fair.  We ascended into the Sunsphere and had a glorious panoramic view of Knoxville, the Tennessee River and the Great Smoky Mountains.  It was a perfect, cloudless day.

The Sunsphere at World's Fair Park Looms over Knoxville and Serves as an Icon for the City
Back on the bus, we toured the bustling campus of the University of Tennessee and returned along Neyland Drive, which skirts the river and affords views of Neyland Stadium, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, various upscale restaurants on the river and more of the huge UT campus. 

The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville.  There are 96,000 Dimples on the Ball!
Laney asked the bus driver to stop long enough for her and her assistant, Rachel, to go inside the Panera Bakery and get the group some fantastic cookies.  Oh. My. God.-----I had the "Death By Chocolate" cookie and it was indescribably decadent and outrageous.  I gotta get back there!

My Panera Chocolate Cookie Was Big, Chocolaty, Gooey and Memorable.  Thanks, Laney!
 Laney is a sensation at her job.  She runs a first class operation.  We will be talking about her tour and how much we love Knoxville for years to come.  We also plan on spending a lot more time downtown, now that we know where everything is and how to navigate the area.

On the way home, we stopped at Papa Murphy's Pizza for the large, thin-crust Mediterranean pizza and headed for home, our minds abuzz at the wonderful things we had seen and learned, and visions of Gay Street, Market Square, the mighty Tennessee River, the Sunsphere, the Smoky Mountains and a super-enthusiastic Laney Shorter dancing through our subconsciousness…with a taste of Panera chocolate cookie, of course.  Ummm.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Church Street United Methodist Church, Knoxville, TN

Church Street United Methodist Church, Knoxville, TN
After a good bit of exploration and discussion, Cindy and I have decided on a church---historic Church Street United Methodist Church in downtown Knoxville.

It's funny how we settled on this church.  Cindy, who grew up in this area, had always wanted to visit this church because of its beauty and prominence in Knoxville.  She had mentioned to me that, before we chose a church to attend regularly, she would like to visit just to get the flavor of the place.  We had given no real thought to actually joining because it is located downtown, which seemed so far away---especially with other nice churches located all around our home.

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows

So---six weeks ago we drove to Church Street Church for the early Sunday morning service.  I was surprised when I discovered that it only takes 11 minutes to get to the church from our home.  That, plus the fact that everyone was friendly while we were there, made us agree that this would be the right place for us.  We plan on officially joining in a few weeks.

Procession at the Beginning of Sunday Worship

For the past few Sundays we have been trying to find just the right Sunday School class.  My friends, if you have not gone through this drill recently, you probably have forgotten how utterly taxing and befuddling the process can be.  Consider these factors:

---There are 18 adult classes
---We selected three to visit.  We tried to choose those that concentrate on scripture-based instruction
---The first class we attended had everything we want.  Everyone was friendly and we came away with the warm fuzzies.  Only consideration:  Cindy and I are 10-15 years younger than most of the class members.  We are concerned about a generation gap.
---The second class we visited was basically our age range, but cliquish.  When we entered, only 3 or 4 people introduced themselves to us.  Only two people actually talked to me before class.  Everyone else stood around in groups of four to six people and conversed with each other.  Few people wore name tags, which is very helpful to newcomers.  We were asked to give our contact information---phone number and E-Mail addresses---but we have not been contacted regarding membership or given an invitation to ask questions about the class.
---The third class we visited (yesterday) was our age range.  People were friendly.  But no one asked for contact information. 

Each class has its pros and cons.  The class with the older membership was actually the best-run class.  The members were the friendliest and most outgoing.  But---there is that age difference, and Cindy and I don't know how big a factor that could be in relating to everyone.  We are praying about it.

The second class reminded me of the class we were members of in Texas.  It is fairly large.  I was somewhat turned off by the constant referrals to members of the class and how important everyone seems to be.  "See that man over there?  He is a federal judge.  And that lady over there is a doctor.  And The fellow over by the window is CEO of XYZ Company."  I started getting the feeling that maybe I wasn't important enough to belong in that class.  Ha.

The third class had an attendance of about 20.  But if they didn't care enough to take down our names and E-Mail addresses, do they really want new members?

To anyone experiencing a new church and going into Sunday school classes where everyone and everything is unknown, there is a certain amount of stress.  I understand that choosing a class and trying to fit in is a process, but the process could sure be helped by a recognition on the part of class members that visitors need to be welcomed by all and made to feel at home by everyone.

And it wouldn't hurt to call the visitors the following week and let them know they are wanted.  If they are, of course.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Way of the Serpent.......

It is still; the very darkest time of the night.  There is an overcast, blotting out all heavenly light. 

It is quiet; and yet, if one were to listen intently, one would discern the slightest sounds of nature.....the movement of a tree limb in the wind, a far away moaning whistle of a phantom train, the barely audible mourning cry of a dove.

The human world is asleep in the dark. 

The serpent glides effortlessly and purposefully and silently through the grass, pausing every now and then to take stock of its surroundings, its forked tongue flicking the air. 

The serpent is a wondrous and fearful work of creation.  It is silent, graceful, stealthy, deceitful, intoxicating and deadly. 

Slowly it snakes to the dwelling.  Souls are inside, asleep.  In their sleep they dream of hopes and fears and fulfillment.  Theirs is an unconscious world, unguarded and naive.

Slowly the cunning reptile funds the smallest of openings and slithers inside.  For it is through the tiniest of cracks that he is invited in.......